Cloud and DevOps: Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

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Many organizations believe that turning to cloud can help them better secure their environments, and many also contend that DevOps practices help them to better build secure software. While that is certainly debatable, a new survey of 929 IT professionals found that the majority believe that the best benefits come from combining DevOps and cloud.

While varying use of cloud in enterprises is near ubiquitous, the survey found there is still a long way to go before the same can be said for DevOps. Just under half, 48 percent, of respondents report that they still deliver software and applications using traditional methods. When it comes to being predominately DevOps or Cloud, that’s only the case in 15 percent and 17 percent of respective respondents. 

When it came to drivers and benefits for cloud and DevOps, the survey found: 

  • Gains across the board, but especially on speed and cost: When we looked at the individual key performance indicators (KPIs) for software delivery, the gains were both more obvious and more nuanced. In particular, we saw that while the synergy boosted performance against all KPIs, it was especially beneficial to delivery speed and project cost control. 
  • Cloud and DevOps are complementary accelerators: Not only can Cloud usage and DevOps both reduce friction in the software delivery process, but they do it in complementary ways, whether that is by providing easier and more scalable access to release automation or security testing tools, or by simplifying and speeding the delivery pipeline. 
  • Competitive threat drives the adoption of both practices: Our research suggests that a key factor is the perceived level of competitive and operational threat to the business, both from internal and external sources. Not too surprisingly, this appears strongly linked to an organization’s willingness to innovate – for example by adopting a combined Cloud/DevOps strategy. 

To analyze how the methods and commitment affected the software delivery outcomes we asked respondents how well they were performing against five software delivery imperatives, which we weighted and averaged (see Appendix B) for use as key performance indicators (KPIs): 

  • Speed: more frequent delivery of software to production
  • Predictability: making promised delivery dates more reliable and transparent
  • Quality: improving the software quality and reducing the number of defects
  • UX and CX: improving user and customer experience with the delivered software
  • Cost control: reducing the cost of software projects

While DevOps alone has significant benefit when it comes to speed, according to 65% of respondents, 90 percent said so when combing both cloud and DevOps. The difference was even greater when it came to predictability, quality, and user/customer experience metrics. In those areas, in respective order, respondents claim to have experienced significant benefits when both cloud and DevOps are combined, rather than just one or the other:  37 percent, 46 percent, and 47 percent to 77 percent, 66 percent, and 69 percent respectively.

As Razvan Muresan wrote in his post, New Study Looks at the Challenges IT Faces in an Increasingly Cloud-Focused World are moving to cloud rapidly, and they are doing so to help improve their security. As the survey detailed, 51% of enterprises surveyed are turning to cloud security services as a way to secure cloud. Couple that with the number of enterprises incorporating automated testing and the hopes increase that enterprises will start to see more resilient environments as a result.